In an interview on the conservative Hugh Hewitt radio show on Wednesday, Dr. Ben Carson demonstrated a lack of knowledge on foreign policy and the origins of Islam.
Discussing the crisis in the Middle East and radical Islam, Carson said that the conflicts in the area “go back thousands and thousands of years” and really began with the conflict between Esau and Jacob. He insisted that the roots of Islam began with Esau, not Mohammed in 632 C.E.
Much more troubling though was his seeming lack of knowledge about NATO and who the member states are.
That conversation began when Hewitt asked him for his assessment of Vladimir Putin, wanting to know if he saw him as a “rational actor or a megalomaniac.”
“Well, I think he’s a very rational actor,” Carson said, “because he is sensing weakness. He’s sensing weakness in us and our allies in Europe, and he’s a bully.”
“We should be establishing relationships with all the former components of the Soviet Union. We should be strengthening NATO. We should be getting them aligned with NATO. I mean, we need to be proactive,” Carson said.
“The Baltic states are very nervous, and we have troops in the Baltic states,” Hewitt said. “Ought NATO to be willing to go to war if Putin attempts in the Baltic states anything like he’s attempted in Ukraine?”
“Well, if we have them involved in NATO,” Carson replied. “We need to convince them to get involved in NATO and strengthen NATO.”
“One of the things I know that’s going to come up,” Hewitt said apologetically, pointing out that if he made a similar mistake in a campaign debate it could be devastating. “…It appeared you didn’t know that the Baltic states were a part of NATO.”
Carson attempted to brush it off as a simple misunderstanding, saying that he thought they were still talking about former members of the Soviet Union.
Listen to the interview below.